Region 1 woman latest COVID-19 death

…authorities monitoring rising cases

One more person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has died, according to the Health Ministry on Wednesday.
This latest fatality is a 65-year-old female from Region One (Barima-Waini), who died on December 28, 2021. She was fully vaccinated at the time.
With this, the total number of deaths in Guyana from the virus has now gone up to 1051. Additionally, the COVID-19 death toll for the month of December is now at 52.
Meanwhile, some 87 more persons have contracted the potentially-deadly virus, taking the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Guyana to 39,238.
But only 643 of these are currently active cases. These include six patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and 637 persons in isolation – 33 in institutional isolation and the other 604 in home isolation.
There are also six more persons in institutional quarantine. In addition, there are a total of 28 persons hospitalised across the country with COVID-19 inclusive of the ICU patients.
To date, some 37,544 persons have recovered from the life-threatening disease – 79 more recoveries than the figure previously reported.
Moreover, 421,110 persons have been tested for the novel coronavirus to date in Guyana and of this number, 18,506 males and 20,732 females were found to be positive.
Of the 87 new cases detected on Wednesday, one was from Barima-Waini, another case from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), two from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), a whopping 54 from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), 17 from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), one from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and the remaining 11 cases from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
There were no new cases recorded in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
However, the 87 new cases recorded on Wednesday was more than double the number detected the previous day. As such, health authorities are monitoring this situation to determine if the surge is as a result of the holiday weekend or something more serious, especially with the Omicron variant rapidly spreading around the world.
In fact, during Wednesday’s COVID-19 update, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said, “I suspect that might be a little bit of the backlog over the holidays. But we have to observe to see whether this is a trend and if cases are going to go up.
“I really want to urge people not to be complacent, because a lot of times people tend to be very complacent. They feel because the numbers are dropping, we’re over the pandemic. We are not over as yet. We are a long way from being over and we really need to take all the precautions,” Dr Anthony stressed.
The Health Minister’s plea comes as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across the world. In fact, the United States and Europe are detecting record cases on a daily basis.
While there is no indication that it has reached local shores, persons are still being urged to take the necessary precautions including wearing of masks and taking the vaccines, especially the boosters.
“We have to keep working on getting people vaccinated. It’s the only safe way that we can protect people,” the Minister stated.
He reiterated that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible and is spreading faster than any other variant detected since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Dr Anthony further added that “Omicron also has the capability of evading immunity”.
The COVID-19 vaccination exercise was launched back in February and so far, some 410,499 or just over 80 per cent of the adult population have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 57.3 per cent or some 294,160 persons who are 18 years and older are fully immunised.
As it relates to adolescents, some 30,251 or 41.5 per cent of children between the ages of 12 and 17 have been administered first doses, with 29.6 per cent or 21, 568 of them being fully vaccinated.
Government started administering booster shots to the adult population last month and so far, about 11,065 persons have received their booster dose.
According to the Health Minister, they have been mixing vaccines, which has been found to increase efficacy, for the administration of booster shots.
“We’ve been practising that and we are getting good results; and we will continue to do so,” Dr Anthony indicated.
Nevertheless, as more people continue to get vaccinated, authorities are urging the public to continue observing all COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly masking in public, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and sanitising.
The measures also include vaccination requirements to access any public building such as restaurants, places of worship, schools as well as Government buildings. There is also a midnight to 04:00h curfew in place. (G8)